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December 28, 2003

Over It All Over

"All right, let's see if we can do this in one toke - uh, take."

The show is over! Hurrah! Christmas = officially over. Done.

jeez... it seems like I just started working there. I guess it always does, though. The days after a show closes are always hard for me in some weird way (over the summer, for example, the Equity Day Off was always the worst day of my week). It's something I've been told you never really get used to in theatre, you work intensively with a group of people for a while, then you pack it up and move along. A good portion of the cast was from out of town, and so they go away. The others I may see again around town in this play or that, but I wouldn't even have the courage to go up and congratulate 90% of them, if more than a month has gone by. That's how I am, and I know it.

So after the last show, and the post-last-show dinner, I found myself at home. With nothing on my immediate San Diego horizon. Trying to shake that feeling, that inexplicable, tangible, heavy feeling that I notice around me after a show ends. A cast member gave me a CD as a gift, a picture of a zippered banana on its cover. I put it in my computer and discovered a DVD feature. Surprised and delighted, I explored that for a while, and then just let the music play as I worked ... on stuff.

Whatever I tried, I just couldn't shake the show from my head. My brain just rolled the experience around until I didn't even notice it was what I was thinking about. But it was all I was thinking about.

What I didn't understand was that I was so ready to be done with it. So ready for it to be over. I was so overwhelmed and overloaded with the whole thing - and it had been so wacky for so many unmentionable reasons - that I thought I was going to be able to walk away from it with no trouble. In some ways, I thought I'd run and never look back. Part of me wanted to, that's for sure. I didn't think I'd feel nostalgic or sentimental. I thought I was over it.

I was SO tired of having to bite my tongue, and keeping the things I was experiencing to myself because they were not fit to share. Or because I was looking out for other people. People who were not necessarily looking out for me. I hated the position I had been put in, and I thought I would be ready as anything to say farewell.

But I guess I wasn't quite as ready as I thought. Maybe I never am.

I reminded myself of the many good things I gained from the show - and silently thanked whoever I silently thank for the people I got to enjoy. At the very least, I made an excellent female shopping/drinking/adventuring buddy. So far in San Diego I have met very few of those, so I was pretty thrilled at my good luck there. There were others I was reluctant to say goodbye to, as well, but little can be done. Theatre is just that way, and I certainly can't stay in the business if I can't deal with that.

Then again ... you never know who you may run into for an ass-kicking on the frisbee golf course. You never do know about that.

But I felt heavy. It would have been a good time for getting a little sloshed with some pals and forgetting about the show. Sleep off the liquor and the feeling I had. Let it all fade into the distance, into the soft-focus of my hazy memories. But it was not to be. Everyone was holed up for their quiet Sunday night, and I lacked the motivation to stir things up. So there it was.

As I sat working, the music played on. It was unfamiliar to me, and I was just jamming to the ambiance as I went about my business. Not to be outdone, however, the lyrics caught my attention:
I've thought it over and it
It's over and
It's over and
It's over and it's over

Yes. I get it. OVER. Did I really need to be beaten over the head by this word?
And I was very still for a while. My vision blurred, my cheeks were wet with warm tears. And for some reason that I didn't really understand, I just hung my head and cried.

And that was that. Over.

Posted by kati at December 28, 2003 10:50 PM